Stuck in San Sebastian

I can think of worse places to be stuck while Trixie waits for a new front wheel bearing, but San Sebastian (or Donostia as it is known locally) is actually a relaxed city with plenty of options whatever the weather. Although the sky is thick with grey cloud and the temperature is a chilly 5° C, the rain has withdrawn.

DSCF5935I’ve walked along the promenade to La Perla, the beachfront spa, but sessions are unsurprisingly expensive. The restaurant too is eye-wateringly costly, though it does boast gourmet dining. I end up in the Café de la Concha for an equally expensive coffee but then it is warm and offers a 180° view of the bay. To the east are the old town and port, nestled under the wooded Mount Urgull and the grand figure of Jesus Christ who looks down from the peak. The soft sandy beach stretches in a 3 km crescent to Mount Igueldo with its skyline Rapunzel tower and amusement park reached by 100-year old funicular. Finally, in the centre of the bay is the tiny island of Santa Clara, but no boats are visiting today.

DSCF5932The other diners in the café are not Spanish. A German couple order coffee and cake while they peruse the tourist map and a Russian couple argue over something but I have no idea what they are saying. There is lift-style muzak playing in the background which is quite unsuitable for the setting. I would have preferred some Jazz myself.

I try to make my coffee last as long as possible but this is not Starbucks and the tiny cup only lasts me 30 mins before I have to think about leaving and venturing back into the cold like Scott in the Antarctic. A muzak version of Robbie Williams’ “Angels” soon spurs me into action.


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